I can't really start this without wondering how Owensboro's riverfront didn't make the list we're about to discuss, but since it was determined by readers from across the nation, I guess I can see why large metropolitan areas took up the entire top ten.

Of course, it's not like our beloved Smothers Park/Lazy Dayz Playground has gone unnoticed; Landscape Architect's Network named it the top playground in the world in 2015.

But in the category of riverwalks (non-playground division), Kentucky is represented--and quite well, I might add.

LOUISVILLE'S WATERFRONT PARK

If you have ever been to Louisville's beautiful Waterfront Park, you won't be surprised at any accolades it might receive.

One such acknowledgment is a top-five placement in a "reader's choice" list of the best riverfront parks in the country from USA Today. Louisville's Waterfront Park comes in fourth.

WATERFRONT PARK HAS A BUSY CALENDAR

While Waterfront Park is a great place to just chill, go for a relaxing walk or bike ride, or enjoy a picnic, it also hosts quite a few events when the warm weather rolls around. Kroger's Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront is a two-day event every Thursday and Friday; it kind of reminds me of Owensboro's Friday After 5. But the Waterfront Park calendar is always loading up and features many other fun events.

Here are some more awesome shots of Waterfront Park--an "Uncommon Commons" as they call it.

THE TOP THREE RIVERWALKS IN THE U.S.

In case you were wondering about the only three that topped Louisville's Waterfront Park, the Wilmington Riverwalk along the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina came in third.

Smale Riverfront Park in Cincinnati finished second.

And it was the Detroit International Riverwalk that, for the second year in a row, won the big trophy from USA Today readers.

I love this discovery. When I visit large cities on rivers or bodies of water going forward, I'll need to Google their riverwalks or lake walks or ocean walks or whatever they might be called.

It's always a good idea to have TOO MUCH to do rather than too little.

[SOURCE: WDRB-Louisville]

LOOK: Here are the best lake towns to live in

Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.